There was a tragedy this weekend. A three year old boy was crushed to death when a gate fell on him.
The real tragedy though, is that the accident could have been prevented.
The boy and several others were playing on a gate at Cabini Green. While they were climbing on the gate, it collapsed, crushing the child.
The boy's mother was watching. The boy's mother is likely going to sue the City and others. One resident, Willie J.R. Fleming, who is a director of Coalition to Protect Public Housing, is already blaming the CHA and others.
Blame for this accident is clear though. The tragedy occurred because of the boy's mother. She allowed him and others to play on the gate, when any concerned parent would have stepped in and played the role of a parent. Being a parent means that sometimes, we must tell our children not to do things that are dangerous. This boy's mother saw him doing something dangerous, but did nothing.
Parents need to watch their children. If you see your children and four others swinging from a heavy gate, you need to step in and play the role of the parent.
Moreover, this tragedy once again points to problems with DCFS. The organization needs more counselors, and it needs better trained counselors. If we lived in a society that really cared about children, then parents would have parenting skills training easily available.
The accident was a tragedy. It was not the fault of the CHA or the property manager though. It was the fault of the mother. To some extent though, we need to look at what we as a society are doing to put parents in situations where they can learn to be effective parents.